By Brian Moore
FARMERS in Co Cork were the biggest recipients of the total €1.6bn paid from the Common Agriculture Policy’s (CAP) single payment scheme to over 130,000 Irish farmers in 2015.
EU figures show Cork had the highest number of farmers receiving EU money, with farmers receiving an average payment of €15,260.
The largest single amount of CAP funds received in Cork – €603,009 – was credited to the West Cork Development Partnership (WCDP) who, as with other rural development groups across the country, have their funds drawn from the CAP scheme. Ranking below the WCDP, there were fifteen farmers across West Cork who received between €94,000 and €141,000.
These farmers included John Buckley in the Bandon-Kinsale area who received €140,053, while nine other farmers from the same area also received payments of over €100,000: James O’Regan (€133,403), Joe Foley (€128,163), Arthur Shorten (€121,204), John Murphy (€116,486), Roy Kingston (€116,287), Ljg Dairy (€109,232), John O’Sullivan (€106,829), Donal Twomey (€106,319) and Robert Good (€103,723).
In the Ballincollig-Carrigaline area, Liam O’Riordan received €96,125 and listed under the ‘West Cork’ area were J&G&D Kelleher & F O’Hare (€115,615), James and Una Cullinane (€104,404), Herbert Buttimer (€97,724) and Jeremiah Murphy (€94,388). Under future EU proposals to make the system more equitable across the range and size of farming enterprises, the CAP single farm payment scheme is to be capped at €150,000 per applicant.
Farm bodies have criticised the publication of Single Farm Payments as they believe they are a breach of farmers’ rights to privacy. However, the European Commission has said that for reasons of transparency, the information must be publicly accessible.